The Return to Makin Island

You all know my love and devotion for our U.S. Military. Some know I hold a very special place in my heart and soul for our U.S. Marine Corps. Our general knowledge about WWII usually surrounds the ETO (European Theater of Operation). The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines pretty much held the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO). As brutal as the ETO was, the PTO bordered on barbaric with our then enemy Japan. Each mission involved taking primitive island by primitive island in hellish conditions, most times cut-off from immediate back-up or relief for days and weeks on end for our Marines in battle. As bad as The Battle of The Bulge was for our U.S. Army the U.S. Marines on the island missions were worse.

I have always said there are as many worthy stories as participants (civilian and military) of WWII, and that would make it in the millions. This is just one that finally came to fruition 58 years later.

A friend sent me this video, and I thought it was a beautiful addition to our Sunday offering. It is a couple years old, but please take the few moments to watch. You’ll be glad you did…

True story of the recovery of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later.
Story: Pat Mendoza.
Music arranged by Pat Mendoza
Trumpet: Steve Wiest.
Singers: the Islanders and Pat Mendoza
For information on the one hour video contact

Were I a family member of one of these 19 fallen warriors I would find such great comfort and joy in how these gentle islanders so properly, respectfully, and beautifully buried my Marine loved one, carefully and successfully hiding them from the Japanese soldiers, all those years ago during such a horrific time. Such closure is rare.

You can see the story of the U.S. Marine’s “Makin Raiders” here and here on video.

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